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Critical essay

04 Mar 2016

What is a critical essay?


A critical essay is a brief overview and commentary on a book, film, picture or a research which demands your analytical skills, ingenuity, creative approach. This is the type of a paper where you provide a critical approach to the structure, general tone, predominating symbols that occur in the work you are interpreting. You include your own opinion with the unbiased view on a given text/film/picture. You are supposed to define all the weaknesses and strong points of an object of your critique.


Structure of a critical essay

  1. Introduction. In the introduction part of a critical essay you need to state an argumentative thesis with some general information concerning the object of your essay. The thesis should outline the topic of your essay. Place your thesis at the end of the introduction part. It must be effective and strong, not just a statement of a fact or a matter of taste. On your introduction depends all the essay itself. That is why you need to engage the reader from the first sentence. You may start the introduction part with a rhetoric question or a question to the audience (the reader). In addition, write some background information at least in several sentences (e.g. if it is a book provide the year of the publication, name of the author etc.).
  2. Body. The body of an essay should consist of at least three paragraphs. These paragraphs will provide arguments to back your thesis. Put the strongest arguments in a “frame” of the body (first and third parts ob the body). In the beginning of each paragraph provide a claim/argument. Then give one or two examples to support your claim/argument.
  3. Conclusion. This part concentrates on the brief summary of your essay, restating main points and giving them a common, general conclusion that intersects with the argumentative thesis. Here you also have to underline the importance of your critique and explain how this your results may influence the topic in the broader context.

Useful tips on how to write a critical essay

  • Preparation. Make sure you completely understand what you are going to write about.
  • If you get a book to analyze, apply the technique of close reading, if it is a film watch it several times, search for any details that a common man will not notice.
  • Take notes when you are reading the text or watching a movie. This will help you not to lose significant subtleties.
  • Look through critical evaluation essay example, more advice on writing a critical essay,  essay examples, even college application essay to see the response template for the essay of your own.
  • Make some points in your response novel to give the audience up-to-date and new information, “a fresh look”.
  • Convey the meaning of your message with the help of cliched phrases like “Firstly,...”, “Secondly,...”, “Moreover,...”, “Consequently,...”, “To conclude,...”.
  • Make a critical analysis essay outline to be completely prepared for writing your essay, it will help you to distinguish all the weaknesses of your paper.
  • Try to do your research by yourself and do not  buy an essay for college. Develop your critical skills.

Topics for a critical essay

"The originality of the novel-pamphlet genre"
"Moral lessons in the movie “Pollyanna” (2003)”
“The novelty of the theater of the absurd in France”
“The concept of the Byronic Character”

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